WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Trump said ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he favors the two-state solution and that he hopes to reveal his peace plan within four months.
“I like the two-state solution,” Trump said, appearing Wednesday with Netanyahu at the United Nations during the world body’s General Assembly. “That’s what I think works best.”
The statement was less than a definitive walkback from Trump’s retreat soon after he assumed office from years of U.S. policy, which was committed to a Palestinian state as an outcome of a final status peace deal. But the president suggested that two states would be wrapped into the peace proposal now being drafted by a team led by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Netanyahu, who since 2017 also has retreated from a two-state commitment, played down the significance of Trump’s statement.
“Everyone defines the term ‘state’ differently,” he told reporters after the Trump meeting, Haaretz reported. “I am willing for the Palestinians to have the authority to rule themselves without the authority to harm us.”
Trump predicted the plan would appear by early next year.
Trump said he was confident the Palestinians would return to the effort to revive the peace talks, although they quit the process in December after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Kushner and his team, including lead negotiator Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, have not released any details of their proposed deal, which has frustrated their efforts to garner support for it.
Jordan’s King Abdullah, also in New York for the General Assembly, met privately with Jewish leaders and dismissed reports that Arab nations were lining up behind the peace proposal, saying that none of them — including himself — have any idea what’s in it.